End of life doulas are caring paraprofessionals who walk with people on their journey towards death. INELDA describes the doula relationship this way:
“Doulas provide emotional, spiritual, and physical support at an intensely personal and crucial time. They assist people in finding meaning, creating a legacy project, and planning for how the last days will unfold. Doulas also guide and support loved ones through the last days of life and ease the suffering of grief in its early stages.”
End of life doulas are able to help people whether or not they are registered with hospice However, they are not meant to be a substitute for hospice care. Rather, doulas supplement the work of hospice by focusing on the individual and providing care without a pre-planned agenda. Doulas focus their work in several areas:
- Natural forms of pain management
- Legacy visualization and planning
- Quiet companionship
- Personal advocacy.
Doulas can connect their clients to a host of care providers who are uniquely right for them.